France prepares for an atypical Christmas between optimism and prudence

It is known that it is going to be Christmas when the fir trees start to be dug up. In a few days they will be in the warmth of a home in France as in other parts of the world.

But right now, the workers at this horticulture company are cutting them, packing them and loading them into trucks under the watchful eye of René Jonquille who runs the operations.

René has been allowed to sell his trees, normally he cuts around 12,000 specimens, but this year the demands have dropped dramatically.

He shows some optimism but at the same time is concerned about the uncertainty created by the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

“They are going to buy Christmas fir trees, the only problem is that we do not know where people will be able to buy these trees. We do not know if they will be able to travel to our points of sale, if they will buy them in garden stores, in shopping malls. We don’t know. “

Last year, about 7 million Christmas trees were sold in France, which is about 190 million euros, and despite the pandemic, the French do not seem to want to change their customs.

This is confirmed by this citizen of Lyon.

“As always, I am going to spend Christmas with my family, but only with my children and grandchildren.”

And if the fir tree marks the holidays, the Christmas trunk sweetens them. Valentin Bonnin is preparing this festive specialty in a traditional way, in the French capital of gastronomy, Lyon; in one of its most emblematic patisseries, Bernachon.

In this establishment, Christmas represents 40% of sales and this year it is crucial because so far less was sold and they hope to be able to recoup those losses as explained by Valentin Bonnin.

“We have decided to make more or less the same amount as last year. I think that people are going to celebrate Christmas as usual and the trunk is anchored in tradition. I think it is essential.

Christmas traditions take on another value with the pandemic, as this client highlights.

“I think it is very important for the spirit of the French”

A couple affirms that Christmas without the family is not Christmas; that you have to be careful and that the masks do not impede proximity.

They think that people have to be responsible, but at the same time they complain that the authorities treat citizens like children.

A month before Christmas, people are already thinking about these holidays, because it is a breath of fresh air for the French after several weeks of confinement. But the French President, Emmanuel Macron, has asked his fellow citizens to be responsible because the magic of Christmas will not make COVID-19 disappear, nor the difficulties of January.